As a small business owner, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming to keep track of your schedule, manage staff, and generate monthly reports. Your Google Calendar, Excel Sheets, emails or even social messaging may be harder to handle, especially when you manage staff, clients, and appointments all at once.
Do you want to find out how to better manage and grow your business? If you are getting inaccurate monthly reports, unsatisfied with your growth rate, or find it frustrating to answer client calls or an increasing number of social messages – automating internal operations should be your top priority to help you save time and money.
Especially for service-based businesses, choosing the right online appointment scheduling software can help to grow your business while keeping costs low.
Finding the best online appointment scheduling software that suits your business
In general, online scheduling software should not only be the best fit for your business and staff but also be user-friendly and intuitive for your customers. Most online appointment scheduling software may be designed for internal use only. It’s important to know if the software also works for customer self-scheduling, where they can book your services online, from your website, or through your custom booking app.
A good scheduling software should be flexible enough to provide you with both options:
(1) A staff can book and register for a new service on behalf of the customer, or
(2) Customers can self-serve by registering, booking, or editing their preferred service
Whether you are a solopreneur, freelancer, or manage a chain of businesses with multiple staff on board, a scheduling system can help you streamline your daily operations and eliminate any scheduling friction to focus more on different aspects of running a business.
In this article, we compiled an inventory of questions and queries you should have to help you identify and consider the best scheduling solutions for your business.
Basic Functionality Concerns
- Does it provide integrations with other software that I use daily?
List down all the software you most likely need daily and see if it integrates with the scheduling system you want to use. Examples are Zapier, Google Calendar, Zoom, Stripe, and many more.
- Does the software provide friendliness and ease of use?
The software should provide a hassle-free and lesser learning curve not only for you but also for your employees and customers. User-friendly software drives more customers and provides seamless operations for your employees.
- Does it automate notifications and reminders? Can I customize the emails?
It should let you customize, automate, and pre-configured reminders through SMS, WhatsApp, and Email to your clients or employees. Automated email and text reminders are one-of-the best ways to reduce no-shows.
- Can I speak to a bonafide person for support if needed?
Ensure that there is a medium of communication so you can reach them whenever you need help. Most software is only available for email communication. The ideal scheduling software also offers a live chat for your queries and concerns.
Appointment Booking Concerns
- How do I schedule appointments in advance for my customers?
The appointment scheduling system can also help to schedule appointments for your clients and customers.
- Can my customers see and cancel their upcoming appointments?
Setting a cancellation policy is another way of eliminating on-the-spot cancellations and customer no-shows. The scheduling software should provide a cancellation policy feature, and your customers can see and cancel upcoming appointments based on your preference.
- How can my customers see the remaining services in their membership?
Does the software provide you with an option to allow login and account sign-up for your customers? A good scheduling software should have this feature so customers can track, access, and update their appointments and membership status from their accounts.
Staff Management Concerns
- Does the software deal with the staff switching classes or staff taking different appointments and availability?
Switching schedules can lead to messing up the instructor’s attendance. The software should be able to deal with staff switching schedules and can keep track of their records and attendance. They should let you generate reports based on the updated data.
- Does the software provide permission or a staff role in the system?
Are there account-level controls or staff role permissions? The software should allow different permissions and roles such as staff that can view or edit their own or other staff’s schedule and the system administrator.
- Does it require a staff member log-in and authentication mechanism?
Does the software allow you to enable or disable staff member login to access the dashboard? Your staff should be able to log in to the system according to their level of control.
Furthermore, if you still have concerns and questions in your mind, ensure that you address them right away because the answers you get must satisfy you.
Scheduling software is the backbone of your business
Choosing an online appointment scheduling software should be taken seriously, as it is the backbone of your service-based business. The software should be capable of representing your brand and identity.
An example of the best-fit scheduling system for every service-based business like a Yoga/Dance Studio, Hair and Beauty Salon, Recreational Activities, Tutoring or Driving Centres, Pet Grooming Salon, and so much more, is a one-stop IT solution for all.
Your customers can self-book appointments in advance, self-register a class for walk-ins, manage your staff from their schedule to monthly payroll reports, provide customers the option to purchase memberships, whether online or in-store and so much more.
Choosing the right scheduling solution
Make sure the appointment scheduling software you choose meets the requirements of your growing business. Here at AOT.plus, our team of experts and engineers are here to give your business the solution it needs to streamline your daily operations and let you focus on other aspects of growing your business.